Belfast Telegraph

Khan sets up business advisory board to protect London from Brexit impact

The Mayor of London has appointed a raft of high-flying executives to a business advisory group to help shield the capital's economy from the impact of Brexit.

Sadiq Khan has called on bosses from the world of technology, finance and retail to outline fresh ideas for driving growth amid fears that London could endure economic upheaval if Britain leaves the European single market.

The line-up includes Nicola Mendelsohn, vice president EMEA of Facebook, Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money, and Paul May, chief executive of cake chain Patisserie Valerie.

Mr Khan said he had handed 10 of the 16 roles to women to challenge the under-representation of businesswomen in senior positions.

Speaking at Bloomberg's UK investment summit, he said: "My high-quality Business Advisory Board will bring great insight, innovation and creativity to bear on developing ideas that increase our competitiveness and prosperity, and spread the opportunity that brings to all Londoners.

"London business is still coming to terms with the recent vote to leave the European Union and I am looking forward to working with the Business Advisory Board to strengthen London's shield against the expected blows from Brexit and to seize the opportunities to show how London is open to jobs, growth and investment."

There have been mounting fears that London's status as a global financial centre could be diminished in the wake of Brexit if firms shift operations to rival cities to maintain close trading ties with Europe.

Industry concerns have centred on whether London's heavyweight financial firms will continue to have access to the bank passporting system, which allows them to sell their products to any country within the European Economic Area.

According to TheCityUK, a so-called "hard Brexit" - where Britain leaves the single market in order to take a tighter grip on immigration - could cost the City of London 75,000 jobs.

Nikhil Rathi, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, said: "Being at the heart of London's financial community, London Stock Exchange Group is committed to supporting access to funding for British and international entrepreneurs and businesses.

"I look forward to being part of the mayor's Business Advisory Board, as it champions London's vibrant business and entrepreneurial community, supporting London's status as a world leading global financial centre and a dynamic place to do business."

The Business Advisory Board will meet four times a year, with Mr Khan chairing the sessions.